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Justice Cameron described as a South African hero

Dikgang Moseneke said it never escaped him, Edwin Cameron, and others that their critical role was to protect the country, democracy, and other hard-won gains.

Justice Edwin Cameron applauded in the Constitutional Court where he was celebrated for his contributions to the South African justice system. Cameron has retired after 25 years. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Former deputy chief justice of the Constitutional Court Dikgang Moseneke on Tuesday said the country’s judiciary should always be ready to protect the public from the next despots in the democratic journey.

Moseneke was speaking on the side-lines of the apex court’s farewell to Justice Edwin Cameron who retired on Tuesday.

He said it never escaped him, Cameron, and others that their critical role was to protect the country, democracy, and other hard-won gains.

Describing Cameron as the love of his judicial life, Moseneke said: “We were partners [and] judicial comrades… We are here to observe [and] it’s fair to say it’s an end of an era.”

National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise described Cameron as a South African hero. She also paid tribute to him in a special sitting of the court to bid him farewell.

Modise recalled the bravery with which Cameron declared his HIV status at a time when it was unheard of to do so.

“The calm and deliberate public stance by Justice Cameron to challenge the negative perceptions and stigma around HIV/Aids, and around sexuality, to stand alone in his field to educate and to led the battle against HIV/Aids, could have not come at a better time,” she said.

Cameron served as a judge in the country’ s courts for the past 25 years and disclosed his HIV positive status in 1999.

WATCH: Justice Cameron takes a walk down memory lane as he retires

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